Fifty percent of all senior living sales inquiries occur outside of regular business hours. Prospects often engage during early mornings, after work, and on weekends when full-time sales teams are not typically in the community. And keep in mind that these prospects aren’t just looking at your community; they’re likely engaging with several at the same time.
This can create challenges since studies show that the sales person who responds to the prospect first—”speed to the lead”—has the best chance of converting them. So building a 24-hour virtual sales team is a must if you want your community to remain competitive.
Sound like a daunting task? Here’s the good news: Many solutions exist to help you fill in the sales “gap” during off hours.
Website – Your 24-Hour Sales Office
Eighty-seven percent of your prospects begin their journey on your website—and it’s open 24 hours a day.
What information should you have on your site? Think about the top 10 questions that prospects ask your sales people during the inquiry process (and what resources the sales team provides) and make sure that those answers and resources are easily accessible on your website.
For example, prospects usually want to know what your community offers, so information on accommodations, amenities, activities, and care should be accessible with downloadable brochures, calendars, menus, and floor plans. Extra points for video tours and photo galleries, since most people prefer to consume information visually rather than reading a lot of copy.
Prospects also want to know about pricing, so tell them (at least the “starting at” pricing). Pricing transparency improves qualified lead conversion. People use pricing information to self-qualify—or disqualify—themselves, which will give your sales teams a better chance to work with high-conversion opportunities.
Finally, prospects want to educate themselves before they get a sales pitch, so having educational blogs, guides, and checklists to help prospects make an informed decision will go a long way in building trust.
Make sure that there are CTAs (calls to action) throughout your website to lead your visitors down a path to conversion, such as scheduling a visit, requesting a call back, or subscribing to a newsletter. Each CTA creates an opportunity to convert an anonymous visitor into a lead.
See real-time, working community examples of integrating these technology solutions helped to complement existing sales team.
Marketing Automation/ Lead Nurturing
If someone called into your community or scheduled a tour, your onsite sales team would follow up, right? Marketing automation creates workflows for ongoing lead nurturing after prospects leave your website—without your community sales team doing a thing.
Even better? The most powerful marketing automation will allow you to personalize the content and messaging based on each prospect’s interests. Lead nurturing that is both automated and personal tends to have the highest conversions.
Not convinced? Well, imagine this: someone comes to your website at 10 PM on a Saturday and they request a brochure. Your sales team is not available and your prospect does not want to wait for the information. No worries! As soon as the person requests the brochure, they would receive it right from the website along with a “thank you” email that demonstrates the community team is ready to help. From a backend perspective, the person would be automatically enrolled in a lead nurturing workflow.
Then, a day or so later, they receive a second email to see if they have any questions. The second email might also include a CTA to request a call back and a second piece of content, like “how to make a decision” guide. Finally, a few days later, they receive a check-in email with encouragement to schedule a visit.
Notice how each interaction offers resources, builds trust, and encourages them to take the next action—and it’s all happening automatically in the background without your sales team needing to do anything.
Remember, 90% of your first-time website visitors are “not ready to buy”—yet. Marketing automation keeps prospects engaged, brings them back to your website, and exposes them to your brand until they are ready to move forward.
Technology that is Always On Duty
Complete your virtual sales team with these technology solutions (vetted and approved by us, Senior Living SMART):
• SiteStaff humanizes your website via chat services with college-educated American hosts hired for empathy, trained in senior living sales skills, and ready to answer questions with information available in a community-specific knowledgebase.
• Roobrik offers interactive assessments to match needs with solutions. Prospects spend four to five minutes answering up to 28 questions about their situation, challenges, finances, cognitive status, and readiness to embrace change. A “Care Fit” report scores each person based on urgency and then matches them to care and housing recommendations.
• Marchex provides a lens into the customer journey, their experience, and sentiment. And the entire process is automated—every single call. With the data surfaced, your sales team will be able to deliver a better, branded customer experience, which will result in greater revenue performance. By understanding “breakage” in the customer journey, you can advise your staff about lost opportunities and tips for correcting them. Information gathered will help the sales team to personalize their interactions, which will give you an advantage over competitors.
And, of course, if you need help with your website or marketing automation, give us a shout!